Threads from "An Old English Tapestry"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by perdu42, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot

    that they were in front of them. Or so Malcolm and his lairds believed. With this wrong intelligence, the Scots decided to turn northeast and cross the River Till making for Horton and the old Roman road which would take them to Berwick-upon-Tweed. However Malcolm and his raiders were determined not to leave their slow moving plunder behind.

    Whereas the Scottish force had a reason for their slow journey, the English blocking force had none. But it was precisely because of that tardiness that Waltheof found himself at Weetwood, overlooking the Till as the Scots appeared from amongst the trees. Both forces were probably the same distance from the bridge with maybe half-a-mile separating them. The race was on.

    Battle of Wooler – phase 1, Weetwood Bridge

    The Till was not flooding at this time but it was in full spate. Control of the bridge was key and Waltheof had the instrument to deny Malcolm. The English charged down the gentle slope towards the Till which was the signal for the Scots to start their own charge towards the bridge. About halfway down most of the hundred odd archers in Waltheof’s command reined in while the rest continued towards the bridge to form the shieldwall.

    Two archers remained with Waltheof and they were soon needed. As the shieldwall was still forming, with what seemed like agonizing slowness, the first Scottish riders were clattering over the bridge. Waltheof’s captain of archers was Hreodbeorht, and with his companion, he loosed shaft after shaft down the length of the bridge. Their intent, by bringing down horse and/or rider, to make a plug of dead or dying bodies. At the same time the rest of the archers were loosing shafts into the riders on the southern bank.

    Hreodbeorht and his companion did more than create a plug. One of the dead or dying bodies on the bridge was Malcolm, a couple of the others were some of his senior advisors. The Scots were now leaderless and pulled

    Wooler 002.jpg
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  2. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Sometimes, no matter how much you proof read a post, a little error will get through.
    Hopefully less frequent are those times when a major fuckup occurs - like the incorrect use of a word mulitiple times in a post and in multiple posts. Hence the flurry of edits yesterday.

    And the above post should have looked like this: Scan0009.jpg
  3. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot

    The Chesterfield Kings

    Æthelred III ‘the Old’ (b. 15 April 1335, reigned 13 November 1390-23 January 1399), the first of the Chesterfield Kings to reign, came to the throne in the wake of Edmund V ‘the Wicked’s death at the hands of a London mob. It was something of a novelty to the London mob, and indeed the rest of the country, to hear the new king’s ancestry recited at the coronation:

    Æthelred, son of Æthelbald, son of Ethelstan, son of Æthelwulf, son of Ethelbald, son of Ethelred, son of Athelstan, son of Harold, son of Ælfred, son of Athelstane, son Ethelweard, son of Æthelred, son of Edgar, son of Edward, son of Ironside.

    To put it another way, Æthelred III was the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson of Edgar II (1052-1100) through his fourth son Æthelred (1074-1103). Of course, Æthelred III had a much closer relationship to the mainline of the royal family than suggested by this distant descent, namely he was a grandson of Eadred II ‘the Brave’ (1287-1346) through his daughter Edith (1310-1349).

    Any chance that Æthelred III, or any of his generation, would have a normal upbringing was ended by the first manifestation of the Great Pestilence. Æthelred III lost both of his parents, three of his siblings and a cousin. As a result, he and his surviving younger brother Æthelweard (1339-1395) were bought up at the court of their uncle, Edwin VI (1300-1351). And arguably his uncle was the last victim of that first manifestation. Æthelred III and his brother became the boon companions of Edwin VI’s children – Eadwig III ‘the Just’ (1330-1370), Ælfred (1332-1369), Agnes (1334-1388) and Eadhild (1336-1369). The test of faith caused by the Great Pestilence saw the six cousins become partisans of ecclesiastical reformer John Hipswelle (1321-1388).

    The years Æthelred III spent in the king’s household, his dealings with the Witan etc were an apprenticeship in the art of being a king. And because of the crisis in society caused by the Pestilence, it was an apprenticeship in a most difficult time. It was here that he learned to tread a careful path, of balancing between the wants of rebellious nobles and the needs of a resentful peasantry; between reforming the church and a threatening papacy; being a helpful ally to England’s friends and avoiding war with those who would be its enemies.

    Of course Æthelred III was not aware of this. Upon the recurrence of the Pestilence in 1369, which took the life Eadwig III, Æthelred III retreated to his family estates at Chesterfield with his wife (Lady Edwina of Gower 1342-1399 – although she was no lady, rather a commoner from Swansea) and his two young sons. Another to take up residence at Chesterfield was Edward of Gower, brother of the Lady Edwina. It was from this point that Æthelred III became a patron of the

    Æthelred III.jpg Æthelred III. Detail from Edward of Gower’s “Coronation of Æthelred III”(1391). Courtesy Stamford University Art Collection.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  4. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    An extract from

    Blood Feud: The High Ground

    No. 2 of this stirring new series by Peter Braddock!


    “Dunholm has a new bishop.”

    Gillomichael received the information with a grunt and took another swig from his cup. That his son was stretching this news out meant he saw some kind of opportunity. Time would tell.

    Bridoc removed his sword and sat on the bench. He motioned for the domestic to bring him beer and grabbed one of the late harvest apples on the table. After taking a bite he made a face and spat it out, throwing the rest at the hapless slave who was approaching with his beer. The throw was head height but the slave easily avoided it without spilling any beer. Laughing, Bridoc accepted the cup, slapped the slave on the rump and sent her on her way.

    Raising the cup to his father, Bridoc downed his beer in one go as Gillomichael noisily finished his own cup. Father and son looked at each other.


    Gillomichael remained impassive. Which one – sacristan or archdeacon?

    Bridoc called for more beer for himself and his father. As they waited, son studied father from under hooded eyes – he looked like he was carved from stone sitting in his high seat but Bridoc knew better. This impassivity was just an act for since Melrose his father had been consumed with the need for revenge. Two slaves arrived with beer and once they had departed father and son raised their cups.

    “How does that arrogant shite of an archdeacon being bishop benefit us?”

    Bridoc smiled and took a mouthful of beer – it was time to spill all before his father worked it out for himself.

    “Because he is an arrogant, envious shite. Gossip-”

    “Your English woman you mean? Your ‘leman’?”

    Bridoc smiled again and took another mouthful of beer.

    “Aye, Sigrida says he is not well liked by the community. More, certain priests are set against him.” Bridoc paused as his father put up his hand.

    “Why would the shite accept support from the likes of us?” and Gillomichael creased his face into something that passed for a smile, “from those that bend the knee to Malcolm?”

    “Your father bent it to the Old Bear and his king not so long ago-”
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  5. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    1071: In this year the king wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in York for the Pentecost; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    In this year Bishop Bleiddud passed away on 27 February and is buried at Menevia[1]. Sulien arrived in Gloucester just before Easter denying his subjection to [the Archbishop of] Canterbury and claiming the Welsh bishops were suffragan to St Davids. Archbishop Lanfranc spoke earnestly with Sulien for two days and finally, on Low Sunday[2], Cardinal Stigand consecrated him bishop.

    Wisest of Britons/A cunning enemy[3]

    Here Eadwig , abbot of Athelney passed away on the feast of St Swithin[4] and Æthelsige, sacristan of Bath succeeded there; and Abbot Wulfstan was not pleased as the appointment broke the alliance[5].

    Here Ælfric, abbot of Tewkesbury passed away on the feast of St Kenelm[6] and Godric prior of the dependency[7] succeeded there.

    Here Robert the Frisian became Count of Flanders[8].

    1072: In this year the king wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in Tamworth for the Pentecost; and finally in Westminster for Christmas.

    Here Leofric, the […][9] passed away on the Feast of St Paschal[10]; he left his bishopric richer and is buried in the abbey church of SS Mary and Paul. And King Edgar gave it to Robert[11] who was ordained priest by Bishop Wulfstan and consecrated bishop by Cardinal Stigand at Canterbury on 2 March.

    In this year Leofstan, abbot of Eynsham drowned in the abbey fishpond on 24 March and the monks chose the cellarer Wiglaf to succeed him. Here on Ash Wednesday[12] Aldwin[13] started on his mission.

    I[14] had not long taken my vows when on Shrove Monday, Aldwin a man of high moral character who was prior at St Kenelm’s arrived at Our Lady’s in the vale[15]. The good prior had been reading the Venerable Bede and was inspired to visit the holy places of Northumbria. I told him that I had seen some of them eighteen months ago and he became quite animated, questioning me closely, as did a fellow brother by name of Ælfwine. Both of them cried out in horror as I recounted the still smoking ruins of St Peter’s[16] after Malcolm had fired it. There and then the good prior declared that we must rebuild and rededicate those desecrated houses and brother Ælfwine and I praised god in agreement.

    That night I sought out my uncle[17] and his only wish was that he could have been hale enough to join us. The next day we were shriven and received the blessings of Abbot Ælfric[18] for our mission. We ate heartily as we made our preparations for we were to set off on our two hundred and seventy mile journey on the morrow the start of Lent. We were travelling on foot, taking only a pack horse to carry the books and vestments we needed for the celebration of divine service. On Holy Saturday we reached Monkchester, our enthusiasm undimmed but it was a barren place. We were met by Earl Oswulf[19] who was keen for us to stay but by Easter Saturday, Bishop Æthelwine[20] had offered us the old monastery at Jarrow as a place of residence. The old bishop was overjoyed when we accepted, eager to see monastic living return to Northumbria[21].

    Scarce anything remained of St Paul’s ancient greatness. Only the walls were then standing uncovered but we roofed it with untrimmed beams and thatch and in a short time divine services were renewed by Aldwin, assisted by Ælfwine and myself. Beneath the blackened walls we erected a little hovel and there for the sake of Christ, we took up our abode in the midst of cold and hunger and we lived a life of poverty. Influenced by our example many people sought to abandon the world and accept from us monastic garb. Aldwin was the instructor to them in this conversation of living according to a rule. Of course not everyone was willing to leave their land and their kindred to become possessors of the Kingdom of Heaven. However, come Pentecost, we had doubled our number. The first of our new brethren was Thorgod

    Here Earl Beorhtric[23] went to Flanders. And in this year work began on the new cathedral at Norwich. Here the Lady Edith[24] retired to Wilton and the Lady Gunnhild[25] took possession of Winchester.

    And the Bishop Æthelric[26] passed away on 15 October; he was given the bishopric of Dunholm by King Edward and Earl Siward and he was bishop for fourteen years before he relinquished it to live out his years at Peterborough where he is buried.

    Here King Diarmait died[27].

    [1] Location of St Davids.

    [2] 1 May.

    [3] Interpolation.

    [4] 15 July.

    [5] Abbot of Gloucester who with Eadulf of Muchelney and the late Eadwig of Athelney were acting together to resist Bishop Giso of Wells authority.

    [6] 17 July.

    [7] Priory of Cranbourne.

    [8] A result of the Battle of Cassel, 22 February. Interpolation.

    [9] Missing. The St Swithin’s (Winchester) recension reads “good bishop of Exeter”. Leofric had held the bishoprics of Crediton and Cornwall since 1046, merging the two when he moved his episcopal seat to Exeter on 29 June 1050. Leofric ejected the monks from their abbey and replaced them with canons.

    [10] 11 February.

    [11] Robert de Lotharingia was a canon of St Lambert’s Cathedral, Liege and entered King Edward III’s chancery in 1062.

    [12] 22 February.

    [13] Prior of Winchcombe Abbey.

    [14] Unlike the entry under 1070, this switch to first person is not dictated to the secretarius of St Werbergh’s but written in Wulfgeat the White’s own hand.

    [15] Evesham Abbey, although more correctly, SS Mary and Ecgwine of Evesham.

    [16] Wearmouth which along with St Paul's, Jarrow was often referred to as one unit. The ruins of both were fired (again) by Malcolm III’s retreating army June 1070.

    [17] Wulfgeat came from a thegnly family in Worcestshire. His uncle, Ælfgeat, became a monk there in 1048 and sponsored his nephew into the abbey.

    [18] Abbot of Evesham.

    [19] Earl of Bamburgh.

    [20] Bishop of Dunholm.

    [21] No doubt Æthelwine was overjoyed at the revival of monasticism. More likely he rejoiced in getting one over Oswulf in the long running rivalry for hegemony in the north.

    [22] Son of a Lincolnshire thegn.

    [23] Beorhtric Ælfgarson, earl of Gloucester.

    [24] Consort of King Edward III.

    [25] The St Swithin’s recension reads “Queen Gunnhild”. Even though the St Werbergh recension is written approximately 35 years after Gunnhild’s coronation, it, like all recensions of The Great Chronicle (bar St Augustine’s and St Swithin’s) refuses to acknowledge the position of queen.

    [26] The Dunholm cathedral chapter at this time was composed of secular clerics but whoever they chose for bishop had to be (or become) a monk. Eadmund who was bishop 1021-1041 invited some Peterborough monks north to instruct him in the monastic vows he had taken, one of whom was Æthelric who eventually became bishop on 11 January 1042. He resigned the see in 1056 after the death of Earl Siward. The Peterborough and Worcester recensions both say Æthelric “was ordained bishop for York” which is incorrect. The appointment of Æthelric marked the end of the Dunholm clerics choosing their own bishop.

    [27] of Leinster, 7 February. Interpolation.
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  6. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Extract from Olly Bradbury, Ēadgār II: Prince of Darkness (London: Te Deum Press, 1991).



    Why a new biography about King Ēadgār II (1052-1100)? Everybody knows he was the king who “was beautiful in person and had infinite charm” and who came to the throne when he was but fourteen years old. Everybody knows he was the boy-king who successfully defeated two major invasions of England by the time he was eighteen. Everybody knows he was the king who after years of factional conflict united the country and expanded its borders. Everybody knows this puissant and pious king then met a tragically early death during the First Crusade.

    Thus the universally accepted, albeit abbreviated, biography of Ēadgār II – full of trimphalistic platitudes. There are, however, some aspects of Ēadgār II that have remained unknown, indeed hidden! A new biography that will eschew the triumphalism of the last nine hundred years is long overdue. This book is that biography.

    “Had infinite charm”? Rather distasteful, even dangerous personality traits including pettiness, spitefulness, and cruelty!

    “United the country and expanded its borders”? Rather cavalier treatment of families that had been part of the court elite since the time of King Cnut and leaving England mired in a thirty year long war!

    “Pious”? Rather devoted to the pleasure of the chase and to the pleasure of the flesh! Ēadgār II broke every law of God and man to gratify his lustful pursuit of the nun Eve! Or his alliance with the simoniacal usurper Bishop Stigand – greedy pilferer and murderer!

    By the method of literary archaeology, that is to say by removing the literary and historical accretions, the original late medieval source material will be uncovered. And by examining the primary material, most of which is not readily available to today’s public, the life and times of the real King Ēadgār II will be exposed.

    I have no doubt that this biography will be taken apart by ‘experts’ and applied to various fields of specialty to test its ‘validity’. So be it.

    O.B., December 1990
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  7. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    1073: In this year the king wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in Tamworth for the Pentecost; then in Gloucester for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    Here on St Milberg’s day[1], Æthelmær passed away; he held for twenty five years and is buried at his bishop’s seat in Elmham. And King Edgar and Cardinal Stigand chose Ælfgar Reód[2].

    Here in this year Pope Alexander[3] passed away and Gregory[4] was consecrated pope.

    Here Lanfranc sends to Cardinal Stigand for two bishops to assist in the consecration of Hrólfr[5].

    Here Earl Beorhtric and Edmund Haroldson went to Denmark. And the Lady Gytha, mother of King Harold, travelled with them, and lived there for a certain time, and so went from there across the sea to Norway. And the Lady Gytha, daughter of King Harold, travelled with them, and went from there to Ruscia and was married to Waldemar of Miliniska[6].

    And in this same year Earl Harold[7] and Siward[8] and Harding the earl’s son[9] took their hirdsmen to Pontypridd but return emptyhanded[10].

    And on the feast of St Cuthberga[11] Cardinal Stigand and Archbishop Lanfanc left for Rome; but they never made it for on the feast of St Osyth[12] Lanfranc and Ælfgar Reód returned with the body of Cardinal Stigand. This loyal servant of six kings and generous benefactor of churches[13], whose wisdom and efficiency knew no bounds, was laid to rest in his bishop’s seat on the feast of St Wilfrid[14]. And King Edgar appointed Wulfstan[15] as the new archbishop of Canterbury; and he went to Rome for his pallium with Lanfranc and Ælfgar Reód and Ælfstan[16].

    1074: In this year the king wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in York for the Pentecost and for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    Pope Gregory held his first Lenten synod[17].

    Here on Good Friday[18] Leofwaru passed away and Æthelgifu succeeded[19]. And on the same day Eadward passed away and Beorhtmær succeeded[20].

    Here on 29 May Archbishop Wulfstan with Lanfranc and Ælfgar Reód and Ælfstan returned from Rome much troubled. Ælfstan who had succeeded to Worcester had been refused ordination by Pope Gregory.

    And here on the feast of St Etheldreda[21] Gilla Pátraic[22] was consecrated at Christ Church, Canterbury.

    Here on 1 September Hubert the deacon and Teuzo the monk arrived from Rome; on the feast of St Wulfilda[23] Archbishop Wulfstan held a synod at Clifton Hoo. There was vigorous debate about making celibacy mandatory and when Hubert said the pope would excommunicate those who violate canon law he was stoned and the legates had to flee for their lives[24].

    Here King Edgar chose Æthelred[25] to be bishop of Worcester and Archbishop Wulfstan ordained him on the feast of St Cuthberga[26]; and here Edmund Haroldson went to Cologne.

    A week before midwinter[27] word was received that Leofwine of Lichfield had had his bishopric taken from him and had been excommunicated[28].

    [1] 23 February.

    [2] Canon from St Paul’s, London and a royal clerk. Became the second bishop of that name at Elmham.

    [3] Pope Alexander II died 21 April.

    [4] Pope Gregory VII acclaimed pope on 22 April.

    [5] Jarl Paul Thorfinnsson dispatched the priest Hrólfr to York to be consecrated bishop of Orkney.

    [6] Vladimir, at the time Prince of Smolensk, later to become Vladimir II Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kievan Rus'. The scribe is getting ahead of himself here as the marriage took place in 1075.

    [7] of Hereford.

    [8] Unknown but likely the powerful thegn from Maldon, Essex.

    [9] Son of Eadnoth, earl of Selwood.

    [10] The Gloucester recension reads “Here Prince Caradog slaughtered the community at Caerwent and King Edgar decided that he should be killed; and Earl Harold etc …” The community at the priory of SS Stephen and Tathan were slaughtered by Caradog ap Gruffydd ap Rhydderch in June 1073. King Edgar’s directive was an outcome of the Lammas witan.

    [11] 31 August.

    [12] 7 October. Stigand died visiting the shrine of St Willibrord at Echternach on 14 September.

    [13] For example, the abbey’s of Echternach, St Swithin’s (Winchester), Christ Church (Canterbury), Ely, Bury St Edmund’s, St Albans, Peterborough, Abingdon, Bath, Selby; the churches of St Martin’s (Dover), St Oswald’s (Dover), St Martin’s (Norwich), St Michael’s (Norwich), St Olaf’s (Southwark) all remember him in their Liber Vitae as lavishing expensive crosses and other liturgical items.

    [14] 12 October.

    [15] Bishop Wulfstan II of Worcester.

    [16] Wulfstan’s brother, provost of Worcester and bishop elect.

    [17] 9-15 March. Interpolation.

    [18] 18 April.

    [19] Leofwaru, Abbess of Shaftesbury was succeeded by that abbey’s sacristan, Æthelgifu.

    [20] Eadward, Abbot of Horton was succeeded by that abbey’s provost, Beorhtmær.

    [21] 23 June.

    [22] A monk formerly at Worcester when Wulfstan was provost there, Gilla Pátraic succeeded to the bishopric of Dublin upon the death of Dúnán on 6 May.

    [23] 9 September.

    [24] A not uncommon occurrence for early supporters of the Gregorian programme. The same happened to Archbishop John of Rouen at a 1074 provincial synod.

    [25] Provost of Worcester after Ælfstan became bishop-elect. Ælfstan resumed being provost.

    [26] 31 August.

    [27] 14 December.

    [28] Bishop Leofwine was married. Decree from Pope Gregory’s November synod.
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  8. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Finally decided on an over-arching title...

    Chesterfield Kings.jpg The random page from post #23 should have looked like this. No idea how that picture blew out the way it did...

    Would like to thank @The Professor for casting an eye over a tricky bit in the next random page (post #29). All faults are mine and given that The Prof never saw the whole thing, there are bound to be many.

    Technical: As I cannot get Tironian notes I've substituted a normal 7 but in a smaller font for the document. Also for the abbreviation of 'that', which should be a thorn with the ascender crossed, I've used a ƀ which really should have been used in the abbreviation of abbot (for which i've used ƃ instead).
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  9. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Extract from Peter Brand, The Acta of Edgar II, (London: Regal Historical Academy, 1998)


    No. 162

    A: Ralf Dugdale, Antiquities of Cumbria, (Bridgnorth, 1625)

    B: Arthur Thorpe, Monasticon Anglorum, (London: Antiquaries Society, 1750)

    No longer extant. Survives as copies made by Dugdale and Thorpe in their respective books. Dugdale was of the opinion that the ‘writ’ copied by him among the muniments of the former Ainstable Abbey was not original but a copy dated c.1316. Thorpe concurred with Dugdale’s assessment. The muniments of Ainstable were destroyed in transit enroute to Stamford University in 1761. Text taken from A.

    † Ēadgār cynge gret mine biscopes . 7 mine eorlas 7 ealle mine þegenas on ealle þan sciran . freondlice : 7 ic cyðe eoƿ ƀ ic ƿylle ƀ Ēadmund consiliarius . 7 Sigulf . 7 Æþelric . 7 Ælfsige . 7 Æþelstan . 7 Beorhtmær . þegnas . in Cumbralande rihthláforddómas . 7 beon heora saca 7 heora socna ƿurðe ægðer gebinnan burh 7 butan . 7 sƿa godera lagana þurðe : nu sƿa full 7 sƿa forð sƿa hig betste ƿæran on æniges cyngces dage . oððe on æniges biscopes . oððe on æniges eorl on eallan þingan . 7 ic nelle geþafian ƀ heom ænig man æt anigan þingan misbeode . 7 þis is gedon be . Ēadgār cynge fullra leafe . 7 on his gewitnesse . 7 ón Gunnhild his cyninge . 7 ón Godwine eorl . 7 ón Benet aƃƃ . 7 ón Ēadmund consiliarius . 7 ón Magnus burþen . 7 ón Bondig steallre . 7 ón Sigulf . 7 ón Æþelric . 7 ón Æþelstan . 7 ón Ælfsige . þegenes . 7 ón Æþelsige stiƿeard . 7 ón Sæman mæssepreóst . 7 ón Osbert . 7 ón Beorhtmær . cnihtas . 7 ón Forne sweordhwita. Nu syndon þisse gewrita . ehta . an is mid þæs cynges haligdome . 7 an is mid Ēadmund . 7 an is mid Sigulf . 7 an is mid Æþelric . 7 an is mid Æþelstan . 7 an is mid Æþelsige . 7 an is mid Ælfsige . 7 an is mid Beorhtmær . 7 ƀ eahtoða is mid þam aƃƃ. on ða halgan stowe. Ebor. Mlxxiiii.

    King Edgar sends friendly greetings to my bishops and my earls and all my thegns in all the shires, and I inform you that it is my will that Edmund[1] the counsellor and the thegns Sigulf[2] and Æthelric[3] and Ælfsige[4] and Æthelstan[5] and Beorhtmær[6] are the lawful authority in Cumberland and they be entitled to their sake and their soke, both within burh and without, and to as good laws now as fully and completely as in the days of any king or of any bishop or of any earl, and I will not permit any man to do them wrong in anything.

    This is done with King Edgar’s full consent and with his cognisance and that of his queen Gunnhild and of Earl Godwin[7] and of Abbot Benoît[8] and of Edmund the counsellor and of Magnus[9] the chamberlain and of Bondi[10] the staller and of the thegns Sigulf, Æthelric, Æthelstan, Ælfsige, and of Æthelsige[11] the steward and of Sæman[12] the chaplain and of the companions Osbert[13] and Beorhtmær and of Forne[14] the sword-polisher.

    There are eight of these documents. One is in the king’s sanctuary, one is in Edmund’s possession, one is in Sigulf’s possession, one is in Æthelric’s possession, one is in Æthelstan’s possession, one is in Ælfsige’s possession, one is in Beorhtmær’s possession, and the eighth is in the possession of the abbot at the holy foundation.

    York 1074.

    [1] Edmund Haroldson.

    [2] Thegn in Yorkshire.

    [3] Thegn of Swillington, Yorkshire.

    [4] Thegn of Winsham, Somerset.

    [5] Thegn of Swinton, Yorkshire.

    [6] From Essex (?).

    [7] Earl of Sussex.

    [8] Abbot of Selby.

    [9] Magnus Haroldson.

    [10] Magnate from Wessex who first attests as staller c.1060.

    [11] Initially member of Edward III’s household.

    [12] Becomes bishop of Lincoln in 1077.

    [13] Son of Warwickshire thegn Siward of Arden.

    [14] Son of Yorkshire thegn Sigulf.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  10. Llamastrangler Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Hinckley, Leicestershire
    This had me slowly trying to understand the Old English from my old uni days. I managed the first sentence but then it defeated me! I have a fair idea of pronunciation but the syntax is a bugger as ever.

    I appreciate the level of detail here in coming up with actual Old English prose.
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  11. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Ain't it just.

    Thankyou. Luckily for me most charters are formulaic. The above is a blend of two with much additional material.

    ADDED: Thinking bout it, blend is not the right word. Two charters were pivotal as templates in (hopefully) getting the wording right.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  12. marcus antonios Lord of war

    Sep 15, 2015
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  13. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    I believe you are the first.
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  14. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    1075: In this year King Edgar wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter and the Pentecost; then in Chester for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    Here on 14 February Æscweard of St Peter’s[1] passed away and Sigbert succeeded.

    Archbishop Lanfranc held a provincial synod this Easter.[2]

    And a contentious council it was when clerical celibacy was mentioned. Lanfranc and Æthelwine[3] were carefully non-comital in relaying canon law, indeed all monks who spoke on the subject were subdued but Leofwine[4] was zealous. As monks we had sworn an oath but priests… and I knew Leofwine[5] slightly from my time attending the witenagemot and he seemed a good man, saintly even but the pope now says he is outside the church.

    And the archbishop announced that Saint’s Peter and Paul[6] would be an abbey free from the jurisdiction of Dunholm or Winchcombe[7] and produced a charter from King Edgar guaranteeing its privileges. Aldwin would be its first abbot but he turned it down and Ælfwine tearfully accepted. Aldwin announced that he intended to keep following St Cuthbert’s footsteps.

    King Bleddyn is killed[8].

    Here Edmund came back again to the king on the feast of St Alchmund[9]; he had been with the emperor for one year.

    Here, on 22 October, Bishop William[10] passed away; he held for more than twenty four years. And shortly afterwards Bishop Siward[11] passed away and he held for more than seventeen years. King Edgar gave William’s bishopric to Eadward[12] and he was consecrated by Archbishop Wulfstan; and Siward’s bishopric was given to Wulfstan’s brother[13] and he was consecrated by Archbishop Lanfranc.

    And the Lady Edith passed away in Wilton abbey seven days before Christmas, and the king had her brought to Westminster with great honour, and laid her with King Edward, her lord.

    [1] Abbot of (St Peter’s) Abbotsbury. Sigbert was provost of the abbey.

    [2] 5 April.

    [3] Bishop of Dunholm.

    [4] Archdeacon of Dunholm. Not to be confused with below.

    [5] The excommunicated former bishop of Lichfield. Not to be confused with above.

    [6] Wearmouth and Jarrow.

    [7] The abbey was the centre of a four-way jurisdictional dispute that also included York and Evesham.

    [8] Bleddyn ap Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, King of Gwynedd and Powys. The Brut y Tywysogyon mentions no date but given Edgar was in Chester for Lammas presumably after Pentecost. Interpolation.

    [9] 7 September.

    [10] William the Norman, bishop of London.

    [11] Bishop of Rochester. Died 30 October.

    [12] Archdeacon of London.

    [13] Ælfstan, provost of Worcester.
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  15. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    1076: In this year the king wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in Chester for the Pentecost; again in Gloucester for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    Here King Edgar sent Earl Harold[1] and Earl Beorhtric[2] and Toki of Wallingford[3] and Harding the earl’s son[4] with a raiding land-army into Wales and Earl Eadnoth[5] met them with twenty ships at Carmarthen and on Rogation Day[6] they fought against Caradog[7], and there was a great slaughter on either side. There were killed Earl Eadnoth and Eadric[8] and many good butsecarls and the English held the slaughter field. And Caradog’s head was spiked on London bridge.

    Here on the Feast of the Ascension[9] Unwine the abbot of Burton died. The monks chose Sweyn the cellarer as abbot and sent him to Chester and King Edgar agreed.

    Here in this year on St Acca’s[10] day the abbey of Melrose was founded.

    On the Feast of St Wilfrid[11], Aldwin, leaving the care of Jarrow to Ælfwine[12] – who had delayed him with many tears and most earnest entreaties, and carrying along with him Cnut[13], Hereward[14], Thorgod[15], old Ealdwulf[16] and myself[17], set out for Melrose where St Cuthbert was first known. And on the Feast of St Acca we were praying at the spot where the original monastery stood upon a promontory on the south bank of the Tweed. It was not the most opportune season for our journey but knowing we were so close to where St Cuthbert had lived and worked as a shepherd on the Leader kept our spirits high as the rain came down. We quickly repaired the ruined church in a simple manner and with the help of some villagers from nearby Newstead we reared a large hut for eating and sleeping. Newstead no longer had a priest and the villagers welcomed us by sharing what little they had.

    Not all of our neighbours were as accommodating however. The local laird was one Gillomichael[18] who made it clear that we should best leave. Aldwin, bless him, told us to have faith in St Cuthbert; and we did but we also listened to old Ealdwulf who knew Gillomichael slightly and who suggested we keep an overnight watch. And about a week later it was Hereward who roused us all in the middle of the night as Gillomichael and his men paid us another visit. Their intent was to burn us out but, much to Aldwin’s dismay, we were not prepared to become martyrs just yet; we were prepared to defend ourselves and trusting in St Cuthbert and our sturdy ash staves we set about the would be hall-burners. Surprise was on our side as they were not expecting any resistance and they quickly broke leaving two senseless bodies behind. That was not to be our last encounter with Gillomichael.

    Here on the Feast of St Stephen[19] Bishop Æthelwine passed away. He held for more than twenty one years and is buried at his bishop’s seat in Dunholm.

    We at Melrose were grief stricken when we learned that Bishop Æthelwine had ended this present life. He was a constant support in our efforts to enkindle monasticism and he frequently invited Aldwin or Ælfwine or Thorgod to Dunholm that he might have some conversation with them; or frequently visited them personally and sometimes taking these persons into counsel with him, he very graciously condescended to obey their suggestions. A most holy man and I remember him in my prayers to this day.

    [1] of Hereford.

    [2] of Gloucester.

    [3] Commander of the Wallingord garrison.

    [4] Son of Eadnoth, Earl of Selwood.

    [5] of Selwood.

    [6] 25 April.

    [7] Caradog ap Gruffydd ap Rhydderch, King of Morgannwg. There were two separate battles. In the first, Earl Eadnoth and the raiding ship-army had just taken up position at the ford on the River Towy about half a mile below the town when they were surprised by an attack from their rear. It says something about Eadnoth’s leadership that the English not only overcame that disadvantage but managed to kill Rhys ab Owain ab Edwin, King of Deheubarth. Whilst recovering from that encounter the forces of Caradog attacked. Despite the death of Eadnoth and many others, the raiding-ship army managed to hold the ford until the arrival of the raiding land-army.

    [8] the Steersman, commander of the bishop of Worcester’s ship.

    [9] 6 May.

    [10] 20 October.

    [11] 12 October.

    [12] Monk, formerly of Evesham, now abbot of Jarrow-Wearmouth.

    [13] Cnut Carlson, former Yorkshire thegn.

    [14] Hereward Leofricson, former Lincolnshire thegn and outlaw.

    [15] Thorgod Thorgodson, son of a Lincolnshire thegn.

    [16] Ealdwulf of Ravensworth, former Dunholmshire thegn.

    [17] Wulfgeat Wulfgeatson, former companion of King Edgar II.

    [18] Anglo-Scottish border lord. At the time of this incident more Scottish than English due to a dispute with Earl Oswulf of Bamburgh who had seized Gillomichael’s property of Tughall.

    [19] 26 December.
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  16. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    An extract from

    Blood Feud: The High Ground

    No. 2 of this stirring new series by Peter Braddock!

    Bridoc was sweating. He could feel a trickle or three under his gambeson. It wasn’t the heat for it was decided chilly in the bishop’s apartment. No it was because events were no longer in his control. And yes, if he was being honest with himself, events hadn’t been in his control for some time. If ever, echoed his father’s voice in his head. It had begun well for he had gotten the position of steward and had quickly planted the idea of recalling the monks from Melrose. Bishop Leofwine had duly despatched a letter to Melrose but, in reality, he had other axes to grind. Many other axes.

    “…isn’t that right Bridoc?”

    The bishop’s high pitched voice cut through Bridoc’s musing. He had no idea what he had been asked so he nodded and said, “Yes my lord.”

    Bishop Leofwine seemed satisfied with his answer but the other two men looked at him sceptically, indeed the bigger of the two was staring hard.

    “Are you feeling alright brother?”

    “Yes, thank you.” No, I’m not was what Bridoc wanted to shout and you are the reason why. You and that damned monk standing next to you. Sigrida had been unaware that Leofwine had bought two monks from Italy back with him. That meant he had been unaware. But the bigger surprise had come after he returned from Monk Hesleden two months ago. His third elder brother Edulf had become the bishop’s chamberlain in his absence. Chamberlain – who was he trying to fool? Bodyguard and enforcer was a more accurate role.


    “My lord?”

    Teuzo smiled, “I am not a lord, just a simple monk as I’ve told you many times before, address me as brother.”

    Simple monk my hairy… “My lord.”

    “Brother, the monk asked you the intentions of Brancepeth?”

    It seemed to Bridoc that the trickles of sweat suddenly froze. Maybe I am unwell… “Ligulf of Brancepeth intends to support to his kinsman. In short my lord, the thegn of Brancepeth and his fellows do not fear the displeasure of our Lord in Heaven or of Saint Cuthbert.”

    “Or of the Pope”, hissed Teuzo.

    Bridoc had thought the threat of excommunication might have brought the recalcitrant monks of Melrose into line. But that was never going to be issued because the bishop needed their support in light of the actual excommunicating of priests.
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  17. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    Really should sack my proof-reader!

    The flurry of edits was to bring some place names into line eg. Dunholm not Durham.

    Undecided whether abbatical officeholder should be provost or prior. Have used both interchangeably. Thoughts?

    Also there were two footnotes missing from random page #29
  18. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    1077: In this year the king wore his crown and held his court in Winchester at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in Oxford for the Pentecost; then in York for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    Here on Candlemas Day[1] King Edgar gave Dunholm’s seat to Ecgfrith[2] and Wulfnoth succeeded him. And in this year Æthelwig, the bishop in Lincoln, wise in matters of the world, passed away on 16 February; Sæman[3], the king’s priest was made bishop there. And Herman, who was bishop in Salisbury, also passed away on 20 February; and the monks of Sherborne chose Ælfwine[4] for the seat and King Edgar agreed.

    Here on the Feast of Saint Ethelwin[5] King Edgar attended the Lichfield synod with Bishop Eadward[6] and Bishop Ælfgar[7] and Bishop Sæman[8] and Earl Morcar[9] and presided over by Leofwine[10]. And here on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul[11] the new cathedral at Canterbury[12] was completed; and King Malcolm[13] gave Melrose his protection.

    On the Feast of Saint Adalbert[14] we were paid a visit by the King of the Scots. Amongst the king’s party was the Queen[15] and a glowering Gillomichael[16]. To Malcolm’s demand for submission Aldwin[17] refused saying we served no king only God. Malcolm started to rage, threatening us with death and I thought I saw a smile appear on Gillomichael’s face. Martyrdom it seemed beckoned but then the Scottish king and queen recognized me[18] – Malcolm with increasing anger and Queen Margaret with delight. It was then that old Ealdwulf[19] approached the king and his control snapped, felling the old monk with one blow of his fist. I could see Gillomichael and a couple other of the king’s men placing their hands on their swords.

    Into this moment stepped the Queen, berating her husband and helping old Ealdwulf to his feet. The king did look shamefaced and grabbing the moment I addressed the king, suggesting that he grant us his protection. The Queen went further and said her husband would be issuing a charter for land hereabouts at which Hereward[20] suggested a spot two miles west as the site of the abbey. Aldwin had very much wanted the abbey to be built on the same site but the rest of us had agreed that the land was not good enough. The king graciously accepted our suggestions and quickly departed but not before telling Gillomichael that he was going to hold him responsible for our safety. The Queen is remembered as a pious woman, if not a saint, and rightly so, but she also showed that day that she was a true descendant of Alfred.

    And here was the dry summer, and wildfire came on many shires and burned down many villages, and also many towns burned down; and one day before the Assumption of St Mary[21], London burned down, more so than it ever was before it was founded.

    Here Archbishop Wulfstan’s brother passed away; we are not saying Ælfstan[22] was to blame but there were only 5 canons when Peter[23] took his seat. And Ælfgiva[24] passed away on the same day as the first abbess; and King Edgar gave it to Godgifu. And Ecgfrith[25] passed away on 30 December.

    [1] 2 February.

    [2] Abbot of St Albans. Succeeded by the sacristan Wulfnoth.

    [3] Chaplain of King Edgar and attests as such from 1071. The Register of the Diocese of Salisbury has an entry listing Sæman’s ordination as priest 9 March 1071.

    [4] Provost of the former cathedral priory. The merged sees of Sherborne and Ramsbury (1058) were moved to Salisbury in 1070. Although the new cathedral was served by regular canons the monks at Sherborne, at this point in time, still retained the privilege of electing one of their own to be bishop.

    [5] 3 May.

    [6] Bishop of London.

    [7] Bishop of Norwich.

    [8] Bishop of Lincoln.

    [9] Earl of Mercia.

    [10] The excommunicated bishop of Lichfield.

    [11] 29 June.

    [12] Christ Church had burned down in 1067.

    [13] Malcolm III of Scotland.

    [14] 25 June.

    [15] See n.18.

    [16] Anglo-Scottish border lord.

    [17] Provost of Melrose.

    [18] Wulfgeat would have known King Edgar’s sister, Margaret, from his time as one of the king’s companions. He presumably met King Malcolm in the period following the Scots 1070 invasion.

    [19] Ealdwulf of Ravensworth, former Dunholmshire thegn and now monk.

    [20] Hereward Leofricson, former Lincolnshire thegn and outlaw and now monk.

    [21] 14 August.

    [22] Bishop of Rochester who died 16 August.

    [23] One of Edward III’s chaplains.

    [24] Abbess of Barking. The first abbess was Æthelburh who died c.690. Her feast day is 11 October.

    [25] The recently appointed bishop of Dunholm.
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  19. perdu42 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    The Land That Time Forgot
    1078: Here in this year Eilaf[1] came with his fleet to Chepstow and completely ravaged and burned down the town. Then Beorhtric[2] came up with the raiding ship-army and they determinedly joined battle there[3]; but they were not at full strength and a great slaughter befell the English, and there perished Earl Beorhtric.

    Here on 15 July Æthelnoth[4] passed away and he was abbot for twenty five years; and the monks chose the almoner John and King Edgar agreed.

    Here at midwinter Leofwine[5] came to London and Gregory[6] had given him Dunholm.

    1079: In this year the King Edgar wore his crown and held his court in Westminster at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in Winchester for the Pentecost; then in Oxford for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    Here on Candlemas Day the papal legates[7] were expelled; and after Candlemas Edmund[8] and Ælfgar Reód[9] travelled to Cologne.

    Here on 29 April Walter[10] died when stabbed by a seamstress he was trying to rape. We don’t want to speak more of the shame he has bought but it is to our shame he is buried in his seat; he held for eighteen years and two weeks. And the canons wanted Ælfric to be bishop but he was married and King Edgar gave it to Gerard[11].

    Here Bishop Dyfan dies[12].

    [1] Despite appearing again (1080) nothing is known of this individual. Presumably a Hiberno-Norse pirate.

    [2] Beorhtric Ælfgarson, earl of Gloucester.

    [3] At Chepstow which was burned 29 June. What reason Eilaf had to linger in the vicinity is unknown but he was still there on 10 July when Beorhtric showed up.

    [4] Abbot of Glastonbury.

    [5] Archdeacon of Dunholm.

    [6] Pope Gregory VII.

    [7] The monks Teuzo and Dominic.

    [8] Edmund Haroldson.

    [9] Bishop of Norwich.

    [10] Bishop of Hereford.

    [11] Archdeacon of Exeter and brother of Bishop Robert of Exeter.

    [12] Bishop of Bangor. Interpolation.
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  20. marcus antonios Lord of war

    Sep 15, 2015
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